This is too easy. By now you know Apple’s iMac Pro is on the way, though we don’t know full configuration options or even prices. Apple took the unusual step of sending iMac Pro review units to a select number of technology reviewers; specifically a few who can use the added horsepower. No, I’m not on that list.
As much as the specifications are impressive, I can come up with more reasons not to get an iMac Pro unless you fall into one of two very basic customer categories.
Category #1: Lust. This has nothing to do with performance and everything to do with having the sexiest machine you can put on your desktop. What’s not to like? Fast Intel Inside Xeon CPUs (up to 18 cores), ultra fast Radeon Pro Vega GPU. Up to 128GB RAM and up to 4TBSSD storage and enough horsepower to drive two add-on 5K Retina displays.
And look at all those ports. 10GB Ethernet. USB and USB-C (no FireWire). This machine is the epitome of class distinction, especially if you don’t work in video or engineering. The problem here is that all that horsepower for mundane chores goes to waste as it’s likely to be more powerful than any lesser Mac long after it can’t be upgraded to macOS Bakersfield in five years.
Choose your configuration wisely. iMac Pro is not upgradeable. No additional RAM. It’s a sealed all-in-one that really means it this time.
Category #2: Power. This is different than lust. If you need true horsepower on the Desktop and it has to be a Mac, this is it. Who wants such a beast? Anyone doing video production, programming and compiling, engineering, and those who cherish such power. Sex appeal might be part of the equation– iMac Pro looks cool in Space Gray– but it’s the math that gets attention over time.
Craig Hunter has a review iMac Pro:
Under the hood, it’s all business, with a 10-core Intel Xeon W-2155 CPU running at 3.0GHz (Turbo boost up to 4.5GHz). This is one of Intel’s recently-introduced workstation-class Xeon CPUs, meant to fill in a space between their consumer Core i9 processors and server-class Xeon Scalable CPUs within the extended Skylake family. If you want Core i9 performance with larger memory capability and more cores but don’t need the all-out capabilities of a Xeon Scalable processor, Xeon W is the answer and it’s an ideal choice for a machine like the iMac Pro (which will offer 8-, 10-, 14-, and 18-core variants).
Not server class but nasty fast.
Vincent Laforet has a review unit and another use case scenario.
Basically, if you’re debating whether or not to purchase the iMac Pro you should ask yourself just one question: how much is your time worth to you? Would you rather be waiting for images and video to render or export, or do you want to go back out and shoot as quickly as possible? For me the answer is easy: when compared to the previous generation iMac or the current top of the line 15” MacBook Pro, the iMacPRO tears through footage and images, allowing me to spend less time behind a computer, and more time shooting.
The bottom line:
After just under a week I can tell you that I won’t be using any other mac anytime soon.
In one move Apple has re-entered the so-called professional space where beauty is an afterthought and raw power is a requirement. It just so happens this is an Apple machine so it looks good, too.
iMac Pro isn’t for every Mac user. It’s expensive. It has power to space except for specific work requirements.
I want one. I don’t need one. But I want one. That puts me in Category #1 but I’ll justify the purchase by feigning residence in Category #2.